By Benoît Morenne
The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 10, 2023
About fifty miles southwest of Midland, Texas, deep in the oil-saturated Permian Basin, more than 100 workers are busy laying out roads and water lines, preparing to build an elaborate complex of fans, each as large as a tennis court.
When they start running in 2024, the fans will suck massive amounts of carbon dioxide out of the air. The carbon will be funneled thousands of feet down deep wells into geological formations, where it should remain for centuries.
The company behind this environmental moonshot is Occidental PetroleumCorp., OXY -0.45%decrease; red down pointing triangle one of the country’s most successful oil-and-gas producers. It hopes the enterprise will give it license to keep operating as a driller decades into the future.
It is spending more than $1 billion to build the first in a planned fleet of plants using direct-air capture to pull the CO2 out of the air, a budding technology with fuzzy economics. Bolstering the move are generous tax incentives included in the climate package President Biden signed into law last year that cover up to 45% of Occidental’s expected initial costs per metric ton.
Chief Executive Vicki Hollub, who has the blessing of the company’s largest investor, Warren Buffett, said the plan will help it reach net-zero emissions on all its operations, its own energy use and its customers’ use of its products, by 2050, and allow it to keep investing in oil extraction.
Read the full article on The Wall Street Journal.